Carrigbyrne Hill is a beautiful and historic site that is situated close to the N25 national primary road, between the towns of Wexford and New Ross.
Carrigbyrne Hill and its surrounding coniferous forest are popular for a number of reasons:
- It contains a popular walking trail that is featured in the Irish Heart Foundation’s Slí na Sláinte (path to health) programme. The various trails are estimated to be a combined 12.5KM in length.
- It offers a number of terrific views of the surrounding countryside.
- The area around the hill is steeped in local history.
- The hill is home to wildlife such as rabbits, hares, thrushes and foxes.
- There is a picnic area at the site.
- Points of interest at the site include Hedge School, Mass Rock, Evoy’s Forge and Courthoyle Castle.
During the 1798 Rebellion, the area around Carrigbyrne Hill was used as a camp by the United Irishmen, who were in the process of marching on New Ross. The insurgents, who had recently captured the town of Wexford, stopped and camped at an area called “Camp Field”, a day before the Battle of New Ross took place. The next day, in New Ross, over 2,000 Irish rebels were killed as the town’s garrison held out long enough for British reinforcements to arrive.
A commemorative stone at the site reads:
In this field, also known as The Oak Grove, the United Irish insurgents under the command of Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey assembled on the 4th of June 1798 to prepare for the Battle of New Ross.
A number of megalithic standing stones can be found on the hill. These mysterious stones (also referred to as “menhirs”) were constructed by prehistoric peoples that we know next-to-nothing about.
A Google map showing the location of the hill. If you are travelling from New Ross, the entrance will be to your left. If you are travelling from Wexford Town, it will be visible on your right. A car park containing 35 spaces is available on site.
This article is a part of our section on Places to visit in Wexford.